Dezeen Magazine


There is "no good Brexit" say Foster, Rogers and Chipperfield in open letter to UK prime minister

Over 1,000 leading architects have signed a letter to the UK prime minister stating that Brexit would be "devastating" to the architecture profession.

"We believe that there is no good Brexit," says the letter, which was organised by Piers Taylor, founder of Invisible Studio and BBC presenter.

Addressed to Theresa May, the Brexit letter has been signed by some of the most influential architects in the UK, including Norman Foster, Richard Rogers and David Chipperfield.

Alison Brooks and Niall McLaughlin also signed

Alongside these three, numerous other Stirling Prize winning architects have added their signatures, including Alison Brooks, Peter Clegg of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Alan Stanton of Stanton Williams, Peter St John of Caruso St John, and Steve Tompkins and Graham Haworth of Haworth Tompkins.

Other signatories include Niall McLaughlin, Cindy Walters of Walters & Cohen, Paul Monaghan of Allford Hall Monaghan Morris and Andrew Waugh and Anthony Thiselton-Smith of Waugh Thiselton.

At present over 1,000 architects have signed the letter, Taylor told Dezeen.

The letter states that the success of British architecture would not have been possible without been being part of the EU, which the UK is set to leave on 30 March 2019.

"We thrive on this sense of being part of an international community, and have – as a culture – benefited immeasurably from the freedom of movement that has enabled many European architects to contribute to the enormous success that is British architecture," says the letter.

"We believe that without being members of the EU, this success would not have been possible."

Frustration at lack of RIBA lobbying

Taylor wrote the letter after becoming frustrated with the lack of lobbying from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) on Brexit.

Following an initially strong reaction from the industry – which saw scores of architects sign Dezeen's Brexit Design Manifesto – not many have spoken out on the subject, claims Taylor.

"I'm frustrated that RIBA has done very little as far as lobbying against Brexit. They seem to be playing a very political game," said Taylor. "No one has really spoken out about Brexit."

"After the People's Vote march [on 20 October] where a huge number of architects were present, I thought I would say something and write a letter. Since I did there has been a people desperate to sign the letter," he continued.

"Industry will change completely for the worse"

Since writing the letter, Taylor says he has seen a huge amount of support from the architecture community, which largely agrees that leaving the EU will be bad for architects and architecture.

"Most architects know that Brexit is a problem for us, not necessarily economically, but culturally. The industry we know will change completely and it will change for the worse," says Taylor.

"There is a huge sense of loss for me and all the architects I speak to. For 40 years we have been a huge incubator for architecture – we have been at the centre of the architectural world – and that will change. We have benefited hugely from what the EU architects have brought to British architecture."

The full letter is below: